MISCONDUCT, Drug testing, Evidence, Hearsay
CITE AS: Sortor v Ford Motor Company, Monroe Circuit Court No. 94-2456-AE (April 4, 1995)
Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Richard E. Sortor, Sr.
Employer: Ford Motor Company
Docket No. B93-05392-126985W
CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: A drug test report is admissible hearsay since it is evidence of the type commonly relied on by reasonably prudent persons in the conduct of their affairs and carries an inherent reliability for administrative purposes.
FACTS: On February 29, 1992, the employer disciplined the claimant for illegal substance use and suspended him for a month. The employer required the claimant to sign a waiver allowing the employer to administer random drug tests during the next twelve month period. The waiver provided that if the claimant failed a subsequent drug test he would be discharged. On February 5, 1993, the employer discharged claimant after he failed a random drug test administered pursuant to the waiver. The claimant maintained he was taking a medication that interfered with the test results. A confirmation test was performed, which resulted in a positive finding.
DECISION: The claimant is disqualified for benefits under Section 29(1)(b).
RATIONALE: The claimant alleged the drug test reports were inadmissible hearsay because the employer failed to establish a proper foundation for admission. An administrative agency may consider evidence of a type commonly relied on by reasonably prudent persons in the conduct of their affairs. MCL 24.275; Spratt v Dept of Social Services, 169 Mich App 693 (1988). The court found that the "drug test is evidence of the type commonly relied upon by reasonably prudent persons in the conduct of their affairs." The court noted that the "urine test is of the type commonly relied upon by Employers for the detection of illegal substances in the body when employees have previously been disciplined for drug use while on the job." The court concluded "the tests carry an inherent reliability for administrative purposes." The claimant's violation of the waiver demonstrates a "disregard of standards of behavior which the employer has the right to expect of his employee."
24, 17, d12: B